The creation of a U.S. Postal “Forever Stamp” for August Wilson, the Black playwright best known for telling the story of the common Black man, raises the prospect, his daughter said recently, that whenever mail is delivered, the common Black man will be recognized.
“I get a piece of mail and my dad’s there,” said Ansari Wilson, daughter of the playwright, as the stamp issue was dedicated Jan. 28 on the USPS Facebook and Twitter pages.
“I can see though he’s not here, he will always be with me,” she said.
Wilson, who died in 2005, is best known as the author of 10 plays, known as the American Century Cycle, that define and explain Black life in the U.S. during the 20th century, each work focusing on a decade of the century.
“The Postal Service is honored to issue the August Wilson Forever stamp,” said Joshua Colin, vice president, Delivery Operations, U.S. Postal Service, in a statement. “Wilson is hailed as a trailblazer who brought fresh perspectives and previously unheard voices to the stage.”
Wilson was born in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pa., where many of the plays he wrote took place. Wilson won two Pulitzer Prizes. He has been hailed as the Black Shakespeare and The Theaters Poet of Black America.
“He understood the inherent power of rhythm in language—The cadence of words and what they can invoke,” said Phylicia Rashad, the award-winning actress who played in the Wilson play “The Ground on Which I Stand.”
Wilson’s works also earned him two Tonys for Best play and he was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.
“I’m tryna write the best play that’s ever been written. If you’re not trying to do that, then do something else,” said Wilson in an interview.